Atos BJJ’s Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa has been doing pretty well in IBJJF tournaments. After winning four golds at the Chicago International Open in August, Hulk won the Charlotte International Open, held last weekend in North Carolina. The 24-year-old used his skills to win middleweight gold and absolute silver.
“I fought Robby Malof of GFTeam in the final,” he told us about the middleweight decider. “He’s very tough. Before the fight, I saw how the subbed his opponents swiftly. He has a good guillotine and good wrestling, but I went in prepared, because I have teammates at Atos with the same style. This made my game easier, and thank God I became champion. I had a good campaign in the tournament, had a great day of work.
“The absolute final was a fight of details against Fernando Reis. I started out in front with the two points from the takedown. We already had penalties and, with 30 seconds to go, I took a penalty, and my opponent wound up tying the match. I attacked two chokes later, but I didn’t get my advantages. In my opinion it was a fight of details, and I could not afford to err. I erred and lost. Kudos to my opponent; he’s a tough athlete. Now it’s going back hom and correcting the mistakes, because next week there’s the Las Vegas Pro, and I’ll take a shot at becoming a two-time world no-gi champion — I can’t stop.”
Before competing, Lucas spent a week giving seminars in North Carolina. To the André Galvão pupil, the sport is treated at a different level in the States. “BJJ and the athletes are valued here in the U.S. The gyms are not just gyms; here it’s more than that — it’s a business. The teachers from the gyms are always looking for knowledge for their students’ evolution,” he says.
On the benefits that competing can bring to BJJ practitioners, Lucas had the following thoughts:
“It’s always good for you to test your game in championships, to know how your level stacks up. Besides, it helps keep the competition rhythm and also combat ghosts like anxiety, nervousness and adrenaline. Nutrition is a very important part of the life of the practitioner; it’s always good to leave the body healthy. I strive to eat as healthy as possible. Before leaving the house I try to make a strong breakfast to get started with a lot of energy, and, during the breaks in training, I’ll eat a cereal bar, or a fruit, or a protein shake.”